I recently had the opportunity to interview Kit Perkins, the CEO of Ergodriven. We have been loving his TOPO anti-fatigue mat for standing desks here at Stand Steady, and I was curious what was in the plans for the upcoming year. And I wanted to know more about Kit's healthy lifestyle! Ever since the team saw their informative and entertaining video from last year, featuring Kit and Ryan Feeley running barefoot through nature and climbing trees, we have been huge fans of the TOPO mat and the founders.
Here's a photo of Ellen using Kit's TOPO Mat today:
EO – Ellen O’Hearn, Creative Director, Stand Steady
KP – Kit Perkins, CEO, Ergodriven
EO: What inspired you to start ErgoDriven?
KP: We started Ergodriven because we wanted our environment to drive us to be better. It was clear to us that in so many ways, our modern environments make us worse, because these environments are so poorly aligned with human design. At the intersection between technology and our interest in human health and performance, there is just so much opportunity to design environments that almost force humans within them to be awesome.
EO: Tell me about your biggest achievement with this business?
KP: Ergodriven’s biggest achievement so far has been Topo, the first anti-fatigue mat designed specifically for standing desks. Topo is a great start to applying our ideology - that environments should drive performance and health - literally from the ground up. It’s an anti-fatigue mat that makes standing desk users better, and it does it in the simplest, most elegant way possible. It does it simply by not being flat, just like nature is not flat. And that means more movement and healthier standing, without you even having to think about, because now the environment is so well-thought out that it handles it for you.
EO: What other ergonomic products do you personally use? (I have a gel mousepad I love!)
EO: How will you look to improve the TOPO mat in the coming year?
KP: The biggest thing we can do to improve Topo in 2016 is to get Topo under more desks, helping better the standing of more standing desk users. So that’s exactly what we’ll do, and that’s definitely where Topo is headed. Certainly, even when we were refining the design with dozens of prototypes, we were already aware that Topo would be the new standard - or really, the first standard - to be used by standing desk users who care about their health and performance. And we’ve seen that mindset shared by so many people, more all the time, who really do care. The number one thing we hear in reviews is how much our awesome users love their Topos and how much better they feel. The second thing we always hear is that Topo should be the standard for standing desks - that it should be the mat under every single standing desk.
EO: What influencers influence you?
KP: Katy Bowman is a huge one for us - she’s absolutely fantastic. The way she approaches the human body is just incredible. Beyond that, we’ve been inspired by someone on just about every aspect of the business. It’s really wonderful how many people put out really great information, totally free. It’s a great time to learn anything new, because knowledge is so freely available from so many people who can so easily share their experiences and wisdom thanks to the internet.
EO: What other healthy activities do you do, other than standing at work?
KP: We’re always doing something! We have a really good mix here. Always morning walks, first thing every day. Some CrossFit-type workouts, mountain biking and road cycling, and plenty of camping/hiking/backpacking in the summers especially. Personally, I play a lot of hockey as well.
EO: Do you go to the Churchill Club? I went regularly in 1997-2000.
KP: I will now! I can’t believe I had never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!
EO: Is there grocery store in Cupertino now? There wasn’t when I lived there in the late 90s.
KP: There is. We had a Lucky for a long time, but that’s gone now, usurped by one of the biggest Whole Foods stores in the country!
EO: What did you do yesterday?
KP: Morning walk
Built today’s hit list ~ typically 1 big thing and 2 medium things (small stuff stays on a running list that I hit when I have free time)
Quick email triage
20-minute CrossFit-style workout
EO: What did you eat for breakfast today?
KP: Nothing! I only eat breakfast ~10 days / year, when something really weird is going on. I typically eat “Lunch” around 1:30pm and “Dinner” between 6:30pm and 11pm. What I’m eating typically depends quite a bit on my activity for the day. I generally try to eat the majority of my intake within an hour or so after a workout.
EO: Thanks so much!
KP: Thank you! This was fun :)
The TOPO is the first mat designed specifically for standing desks. It reduces fatigue, and reduces joint pain, because it keeps you moving across the bumpy surface, similar to nature. The TOPO helps you stand longer and more comfortably. You can find TOPO here: on Amazon, and at Ergo Depot.
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Back pain is very common and can be aggravated by actions at the office. Prevent back pain and find good posture with these simple steps.
STANDING POSTURE. If you work at a standing desk, stand with feet hip width apart and tuck your pelvis slightly. Relax your shoulders, and keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Pro-Tip: It’s so important to stand on an anti-fatigue mat.
Here’s the thing – I’ve been out of college and sitting in my office cubicle for 2 years and then I took the leap of faith to transition to a sit/stand desk. I read somewhere on some blog on some fitness site that even if I work out – it still would not take away the harmful effects of sitting on my behind all day